Creators and writers Joel Emery and Adam Jarrell - also known as ‘Holy Smokes’ - confirmed to PodPod in the latest episode of the podcast that Boom, as well as their other fiction podcast productions The Offensive and Jackie The Ripper, have all been optioned “in one way or another”, although the details have not been publicly confirmed.
“There's big obstacles after that point, once you sign on the dotted line for those companies, to go out and make them,” said Emery. “These companies these days have a lot of IP.”
“We are living in a bit of a golden age of television money, there are a lot of big players in the game these days. Apple and Prime Video are way bigger than what conventional studios are.”
Emery added that while the pair didn’t think about the possibility of Jackie The Ripper making the leap from audio to TV and film until after the script was done, Boom was consciously written with this idea in mind. The Offensive, on the other hand, was a project that they didn’t think would get optioned at all because it would upset “every football fan and their beloved club” but that they ended up “getting lucky” with.
“Boom was the first [podcast] where we said from the start that if we have a good proof of concept here, this is something where we don't necessarily have to care about the downloads and advertising revenues and things like that,” said Emery. “We can really care about - can it make that leap from audio to TV or film?”
The Offensive, a mockumentary podcast following fictional Premier League club Ashwood City FC, was Holy Smokes’ first project, which launched in 2018 and quickly became successful, winning bronze for Best Fiction at the 2019 British Podcast Awards. Holy Smokes’ second project was Jackie The Ripper, a comedy drama which retells the story of the Whitechapel murders, launched in 2021 and which also became a hit. The podcast is now being adapted into a black comedy feature by production label The Number 44, with Emery as one of the writers involved.
Due to the ongoing WGA 2023 strike, however, the project has been put on hold. According to Emery, the production company has put a brake on all projects despite Emery and Jarrell still owning their work. The WGA strike, which started in May this year, bars both current members and prospective future members from working on fiction podcasts which can be used by TV and film studios that have been struck as a loophole to continue developing projects.
The second season of Boom is now complete, with all episodes of the season available to listen to ad-free for one-time subscribers on Acast+. In terms of future projects, Holy Smokes is planning to continue the series, with season three already in the works.
“We do know the end of [Boom] season four and I will say that in season two, the year 2000 has just come to an end, so 2001 is beginning,” said Emery. “A huge world event happened in 2001, but for those that don’t know, that's also when Enron crashed, towards the end of 2001, so it's a big writing task.”